I finally finished dyeing the skeins of silk today. I had originally intended only 24 skeins, but on taking them out of the dyebath, it was apparent that I needed to “fill in” a few transition colors. So I dyed five additional skeins; hopefully they’ll be enough.
I forgot yesterday that Peg asked about the temperature controller. As far as I know it doesn’t do temperature gradients over time, but I do something similar by increasing the temperature by a step (say, 10 degrees) every ten minutes or so. Once it gets to temperature, it’s completely automatic.
It’s actually more useful (to me) for fiber-reactive dyeing. On the recommendation of a few professional dyers, I switched from Procion MX to Cibacron (Sabracron) F dyes. They require slightly hotter water (around 120-140 degrees) but the colors shift around less, are much more WYSIWYG (color as mixed is very close to color of final dyed product), and rinse out MUCH easier than Procion MX. But holding a bath of small jars at a consistent 120 degrees for 1.5 hours is much much easier with a temperature controller.
Now the apartment is festooned with drying skeins of yarn. And I am NOT looking forward to the next part, which involves me winding 29 skeins x 60g/skein = 1740g = 4 lbs of yarn at 7500 ypp = 30,000 yards of yarn (!) into balls with a hand-cranked ballwinder! That alone will take a couple of days.
I have started designing the draft for the warp. Or rather, started experimenting with drafts for the warp; I wouldn’t go so far as to say designing just yet, really just playing around. Once I have a basic structure set, then i can think about how I’m going to use color. Which will of course send me back to edit the structure…there will be multiple iterations of this, I’m certain. But that’s the fun part!
By the way, I have not forgotten about Weavolution. Quite the contrary! We have had our first dev meeting and agreed on feature content for the first iteration (we’re going to develop this in cycles and get feedback on each cycle before starting the next). The developers are mostly getting up to speed on Drupal and our system right now, and the requirements are still being defined, but I am hopeful of being able to translate requirements into a functional spec and start work by end of next week. I am infinitely grateful to all of our volunteers for stepping forward – especially the developers, without whom this would be a much poorer site.